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What to read from PE ratio?

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PE ratio, stands for the stock price vs. earning per share ratio, is the most commonly used (and mis-used) ratio in the investing world. I saw this PE ratio question at trader168 couple days ago, the question goes like this:

BX P/E: 1.97
MSFT P/E: 21.15
JAVA P/E: 46.01
BIDU P/E: 195.95
VMW P/E: 268.98

Why the big difference on PEs from difference companies? Is that true that we should not compare PEs from different industries? (my take: that’s true)

Is PE a still usable indicator? (my take: yes. If used properly)

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